The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC) is a statewide coalition working to achieve a clean, healthy, and safe environment for Michigan’s most vulnerable residents in alignment with Principles of Environmental Justice established by the Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991, in Washington DC.
Over a period of 6 years, 31 activists, leaders, scholars and scientists worked together to create the Michigan Environmental Justice Plan: a robust, multi-sector framework, to reduce environmental harm on vulnerable populations across the state. The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition formed in the wake of the signing of the Michigan Environmental Justice Directive in 2009 owing to concerns that state agencies in Michigan were not doing enough to fulfill the Michigan Environmental Justice Plan. In response to this crisis, MEJC has worked on a number of fronts, from addressing concerns about how well state scorecards address harms to seeking to build statewide support for environmental justice. In 2014, MEJC hosted the first ever statewide conference on Environmental Justice issues, funded by the Michigan State University Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project and the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Over 300 people attended the event, which featured one day of presentations, updates and calls for action. Following the summit, MEJC members met together to discuss the next steps in promoting the Michigan Environmental Justice Plan and improving environmental justice protection in our towns, cities, and neighborhoods.
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Coordinator: Jeremy Orr
Jeremy is a native Detroiter and was recently selected by the MEJC Coalition Members over a rigorous hiring process. Prior to joining MEJC, Jeremy served as the Executive Director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council where he led the organization’s regional efforts around improving the quality of local rivers and streams, increasing access to food/food justice, and promoting green transportation options. Jeremy also spent three years as a Community Organizer with a Gamaliel Foundation affiliate in Kalamazoo, MI where he organized around various social justice issues –including the cleanup of a PCB contaminated Superfund site. Jeremy holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Michigan State University.